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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five local fire departments recently received grants from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office.

The Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems grants were awarded to Franklin and Wayne Township fire departments in Adams County as well as Mount Orab, Sardinia and Byrd Township fire departments in Brown County.

According to State Fire Marshal Jeff A. Hussey, the MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate, not only with each other, but with other agencies responding to an incident such as fire departments from neighboring areas or law enforcement.

“Many incidents require the assistance of multiple fire departments, police departments and even state agencies,” Hussey said. “When all responders are able to communicate instantly and seamlessly, it can speed up the resolution of the incident, protect lives and help minimize the spread of damage.”

According to Hussey, MARCS radios are sophisticated systems that can carry a significant cost. These grants can help offset cost of the radio system and user fees.

“This year we received over $12 million in requests, four times more than the $3 million we had available,” Hussey said. “I really want to encourage the fire departments that did not receive funding this year to apply again next year.”

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This is the fourth year the Fire Marshal’s office has offered this grant. According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, priority funding went to departments that applied as part of a regional or county-wide effort, and to departments that showed that they were prepared to immediately begin using the MARCS radios upon receiving the award.

The five local departments were four of 186 that received the grants, which totaled $3 million.

Franklin Township Fire Department was awarded $1,680 while Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $1,560. In Brown County, Mount Orab Fire Department was awarded $48,789, Sardinia Fire Department was awarded $49,910 and Byrd Township Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $18,769.

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